Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Books - "Take Time" (2003)

This one's a favorite - and an indication of the possibility of audio collage. How is time marked, and taken, here? There are varying degrees of intensity of subdivisions, layers upon layers of sources and textures. Name some of them. What sounds 'bright' to you? What sounds are more mellow? Consider our initial discussions last week of frequency/pitch/timbre and think about how they are employed here for a (successful) mix...


and a link to The Books' lovely site...


RIchard Ogawa said...

what a fascinating piece! I've never heard anything like it. I felt the guitar was quite bright while the sung vocals were quite mellow and warm. There were elements early on that sounded like Balinese or Javanese Gamelan music and I loved at 0:42 when the guitar and (I think) strings come in.

At 0:50 and again at 2:09 there's a bright sound that reminds me of blowing into a clarinet with excessive force just to hear it squeal (takes me back to seventh grade...)

I am always amazed when so many sounds are layered and yet each sound can be heard clearly within the mix. I would love to learn how to achieve that.

Mark Breedlove said...

The gamelan percussion and some of the guitars are very harmonically rich -- they have a a lower frequency component, and also have high-end harmonics in the percussive attack of the instruments. (Mellow and bright at the same time) I think they act as a kind of glue for the other sounds that are mostly in the bass or high-frequency areas.

I'm wondering if they equalized some tracks like the vocals (e.g. removing some bass) to make sure they didn't collide with other instruments like the guitar.

Also, the fact that there is sufficient syncopation and rhythmic variety in the arrangements means that the various instruments / sound sources are not colliding with one-another, allowing each part to be heard clearly. This indicates their talent for arrangement.